Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wakonda hopes to disrupt solar market with its high-efficiency thin-film PV on foil

From Fabtech:
Although there were plenty of "me-too" technologies discussed at the recent IntertechPira Photovoltaic Summit in San Diego, one start-up outfit's approach offers more disruptive potential than most thin-film PV wannabes. Wakonda Technologies, based in Fairport, NY (but soon moving to larger digs near Boston), has been working for about three years on an intriguing TFPV variant--high-efficiency germanium and gallium-arsenide-based cells made on a flexible metal-foil substrate which is potentially scaleable to high-volume roll-to-roll manufacturing.

President/CEO/founder Les Fritzemeier described a technology that combines the low materials and manufacturing costs of thin films, as well as much reduced systems and installation costs, with the high efficiencies of concentrating PV cells, producing significantly more power per unit area, per unit cost, and per unit weight. The key is what the company calls its "virtual single crystal" (VSC), which features a three-layer substrate with a low-cost, commodity metal base foil (this is the core tech, so its composition remains proprietary), an engineered buffer film, and a Ge growth layer on top, which also functions as the bottom cell layer. A III-V PV cell is then deposited on top of the stack....MORE

HT: TheDeal's Tech Confidential